Economics Minister Robert Habeck has spoken out against pumping gas in Germany using the controversial fracking technique. “That doesn’t lead to a reasonable answer,” said the Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection at the economic summit Süddeutsche Zeitung in Berlin. You buy a lot of problems with this conveyor technology. Robert Habeck (Greens) referred to experiences in Great Britain, where fracking had started. Gas levels from deep rock layers would be released with high pressure and with the help of chemicals. In the affected region of southern England, this has led to earthquakes and subsidence, the minister said.
Habeck contradicted his cabinet colleague Christian Lindner (FDP), who had previously advocated fracking at the economic summit. It is about whether the production of shale gas and North Sea oil can make an economically relevant contribution to energy security and Germany’s competitiveness, said Lindner. “You have to answer that question with yes. Both in terms of volume and price effect, that would be an enormously important contribution.”
Habeck wants to solve the protectionism dispute “in a few weeks”.
Habeck said that in principle it is not appropriate to buy fracking gas from the USA on the one hand and reject this process in your own country on the other. But in relation to the specific circumstances in Germany, the discussion is “not productive”. This is due, among other things, to the costs, the necessary changes in the law and the expected social debates.
The Economics Minister also spoke out in favor of quickly resolving the protectionism dispute with the USA. In Europe there is dissatisfaction with a law called Inflation Reduction Act; it provides large sums for climate protection, but excludes European companies. This dispute should not drag on as long as previous trade disputes, such as state aid for the aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing. The new controversy about Inflation Reduction Act must be “solved in a few weeks,” said Habeck. Otherwise, one would have to think about similar help in Europe for companies that produce in Europe. On Tuesday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) campaigned to revive free trade negotiations between the United States and the European Union. Scholz wants to avoid a possible trade war with the United States.
Habeck admitted that the value-based foreign trade policy favored by the Greens was reaching its limits in view of the global situation. Economic interests and values are two poles between which there is a tension. If you only trade with countries that think like Germany, then Germany can only trade with itself. There will therefore always be controversial individual case decisions. In the case of one country, however, the matter is clear: Because of the attack on Ukraine, Russia had “disqualified itself as a trading partner”.